Plaza comunitaria center opens in Truckee
Migrant adults in Truckee now have the opportunity to complete their education and obtain a GED in their first language, without leaving town.
Plaza Comunitaria is a Spanish language academic program funded by the Mexican government and organized locally by Lengua Viva.
Through the program, which is stationed at Sierra Mountain Community Education Center, students over the age of 15 can learn or improve reading and writing skills in Spanish, complete any grade of schooling, including elementary grades, and obtain a high school diploma from Mexico.
“This is a good program for our community,” said Margarita de Nevarez, the local woman to whom the program was dedicated. “We have so many people, and it seems like every year the Latino community is growing.”
The Plaza already has nearly 30 students, but enrollment is open and there is no limit to the number who can sign on. All residents from Truckee and the North Shore are welcome.
Participants also have access to academic advising, diagnostic exams, a library, computers and assistance with domestic issues.
“I have been taking classes (elsewhere) for many years, but this is the first time that I have seen many others interested in taking classes,” said Truckee resident Oralia Corral. “I think they see opportunity over there, maybe because the teachers are very patient and speak both Spanish and English. They wait, they don’t rush ahead like in college classes.”
Plazas have been a part of Mexico’s academic outreach efforts for years, according to de Nevarez, who explained that a large percentage of the population lives in rural areas of Mexico and therefore does not have access to schools.
They have a bus that has computers so that people can work in there. It’s really neat to see,” de Nevarez said. “With all the Mexicans abroad, somebody suggested that it would be a good idea to have [Plazas] in the United States too.”
Plaza students said they anticipate a greater variety of local job options once they obtain their GEDs.
For more, contact Beth Bradford at Lengua Viva, 582-9434.
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